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Advocate Johan Moorcroft

Candidate Bio: 

At 65 years of age, Adv Johannes Moorcroft has over 27 years’ of experience as an advocate in the Johannesburg Society of Advocates.

Moorcroft started out his career as an administrative clerk at the University of South Africa, before transferring to assume the role of commissioner of the then Department of Cooperation and Development. In 1984, he was appointed as the legal advisor for the Pretoria City Council, but subsequently left to take the position of legal advisor and company secretary for the Northern Transvaal Chamber of Industries; a position he occupied until 1995.

Amongst his most notable appearances in this time are: Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association of South Africa: In re Ex Parte President of RSA, Hydraulic Engineering Repair Services v Ntshona & Others and Slip Knot Investments 777 (Pty) Limited v Project Law Prop (Pty) Limited and Others, all leading cases in the law of contract, labour law and constitutional law respectively.

In 1996, Advocate Moorcroft completed his pupillage and qualified as an advocate, becoming  a member of Advocates Group 21 where he specialised in administrative law, arbitration, banking and finance, competition law and local government law.

Outside his illustrious career as an advocate, Moorcroft has contributed to South African legal literature with published books in banking and finance. He has also written numerous journal articles and contributed to various legal magazines including De Rebus and the Advocate.

In 2020, Advocate Moorcroft started acting in the Gauteng Division of the High Court in Johannesburg, where he has penned a number of judgments. Amongst them being Weissensee v Stone-Bird Investments (Pty) Ltd where the applicant, Kim Weissensee entered into an asset management agreement with the respondent, Stone-Bird Investments (Pty) Limited. Kim Weissensee approached the court to declare the agreement void on the basis that Stone-Bird Investments did not comply with section 7(1) of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, to be repaid 600 000 pounds with interest. And that the other respondents also be liable for the payment of the amount in question.

The purpose of the asset management was that Stone-Bird Investments, with its associates, would manage the portfolio in the best, most profitable way. And that the agreement would last 15 months – unless both parties chose to extend it. The court was tasked to interpret the agreement in accordance with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act. Moorcraft found that the agreement did not comply with the Act – as Stone-Bird Investment was not a licensed financial services provider.

The court held that on that basis the agreement was void, and that the arbitration clause of the agreement could not be severed and was in fact void too.
Stone-Bird Investment was ordered to repay the amount as stated in the agreement.

Advocate Moorcroft has a number of degrees, from the University of Pretoria and the University of South Africa, with a Masters’ degrees in Intellectual Property and Corporate Law.